Film: Paul Blart: Mall Cop

Blart is at large!

Paul: Sir, I took a sworn oath to protect this mall and all inside it.
Police Trainer: What oath? We don't have an oath.
Paul: I... sorta made up my own. It's on a plaque in my room.

Paul Blart: Mall Cop is a light-hearted comedy released in 2009, starring Kevin James. The plot follows a portly, kindhearted security guard who after failing to realize his dream of becoming a law-enforcement officer due to his hypoglycemia, Paul instead becomes a well-known figure at The Mall and plans to retake the police entrance exam he once failed. Despite no one showing him any respect and having no real legal authority, he treats his job seriously and makes an effort to enforce orderly shopper conduct whenever possible.

This all changes when a bunch of foolhardy bank robbers make a bid to pull a heist on the busiest shopping day of the year. Paul finds himself trapped inside and forced to do battle with the violent criminals, utilizing his own skills, bravery and knowledge of the mall layout to undermine their plans. In addition he has to save a Love Interest and his daughter held hostage.

This movie provides examples of:

  • Achilles' Heel: Paul's medical condition means he has to have a constant intake of sugar ready, otherwise he becomes weakened and cannot function. In fact, if it weren't for his condition, he'd probably have passed the police entry exam at the beginning of the film. He fakes this on the Big Bad to take him down.
  • Acrofatic: For a big fella, Blart sure as hell can bust a move when he needs to. In fact, it's shown early in the film that were it not for his hypoglycemia, he would have very easily outperformed all the other policemen taking the Entrance exam. (He passed out an inch from the finish line.)
  • Action Survivor: Paul. Even the action he sets in motion, apparently.
  • Affectionate Parody: Of Die Hard and the entire Die Hard on an X genre. The Air-Vent Passageway is noisy and collapses on him, he appears hurt when all he needed was a band-aid, breaking into stores to get supplies is not that easy and this is a man who is not in the best condition to ward off a criminal gang.
  • Air-Vent Passageway: The air-conditioning Paul climbs through which almost counts as a Absurdly Spacious Sewer, though to be fair, it is part of the mall system and would have to be pretty substantial to be effective.
  • Beneath Suspicion: The fresh-faced new security guard is the leader of the gang.
  • Beware the Nice Ones: Blart is a pudgy, laughable man, but threaten his crush, and his daughter, and he'll show you the skills of a guy trying to get into the New Jersey police.
  • Big Bad: SWAT Commander Kent.
  • Binge Montage
  • Bond One-Liner: Blart cracks a couple of subtle ones.
  • Boston doubling: Much of the movie was filmed in Burlington, MA, about fifteen miles from Boston. (The mall there is one of the biggest in the area.)
  • Chekhov's Gun: When Blart mentions he's been working for ten years, which explains why he's so adept at finding his way around and handy with a Segway.
    • The GPS tracking on Vijay's daughters cellphone.
    • Aversion, sort of: one of the mall merchants gives Blart a bottle of hot sauce "to cheer him up." The observant viewer will expect him to use it later as a weapon against the bad guys. He tries, but it doesn't work.
      • To be fair, it DID work, he just failed to act properly on the occasion. Lampshaded by Paul Blart himself.
    • Even Paul's time on that obstacle course comes up towards the end.
  • Citizenship Marriage: Used to explain the titular character's daughter's Missing Mom: she had married Blart only for the green card and abandoned him and her daughter as soon as she was born.
  • Cool Car: It's not a car. But the fact Kevin James can make riding a Segway look even remotely cool is something of a miracle.
  • Crouching Moron, Hidden Badass: As Paul himself discovers over the course of the movie, he's much more competent than he appears.
  • Dirty Coward: Stuart, the Jerk Ass pen salesman. He sells Amy up the river about hiding her cell phone when Veck simply yells at him.
  • The Dragon: Veck Sims, as it turns out.
  • Embarrassing Tattoo: Paul has two.... that we know of.
  • Even Evil Has Standards: Veck stood up for Paul when Stuart was pushing him around.
  • Dance Party Ending
  • Die Hard on an X: It's Die Hard, but in a mall and family friendly! With a husky guy!
    • It's Die Hard if Reginald VelJohnson's cop character had been trapped in the building instead of John McClane.
  • Distracted by the Sexy: When Paul first sees Amy while riding his Segway, he ends up colliding head-on with a mall display minivan.
  • Face-Heel Turn: Veck about a third of the way through the movie. Amy is not impressed. Also the SWAT guy.
  • Good Costume Switch: Blart trades in his normal outfit for something closely related to a police officer's uniform to show how serious he is about thwarting the villians' plans.
  • Hannibal Lecture: Veck tries a short one of these by finding out about Blart online.
  • Hard Head: Handled somewhat more realistically when Paul headbutts a Mook.
    Paul: Nobody wins with a headbutt.
  • History Marches On: The Sharper Image had already closed down all its stores by the time Paul Blart hit theaters.
  • Hold My Glasses
  • Hostage for MacGuffin: Played by Veck with Blart's daughter.
  • Human Shield: Paul has an unusual twist on this, using a mannequin as a distraction.
  • Inherently Funny Words: You've gotta admit... Blart is just an amusing word, even out of context.
  • Insult Back Fire: There are several, all played for laughs.
  • Kick the Dog: Paul accidentally runs over one that was chasing him on his way to work.
  • Le Parkour: Used quite unnecessarily by the villains during the mall robbery.
    • Special features on the DVD show that all the villains (save Veck), were played by Le Parkour experts or extreme sports people.
  • Let's Get Dangerous: Blart is only able to take down the hostages with sheer luck, and for the most part avoids confrontation. Then one of the thieves threatens Amy and he really steps up his game.
  • Loser Gets the Girl: The popular pen salesman and unpopular mall cop both try to win the girl. Guess who ends up with her?
  • Loser Protagonist: A police reject who takes his security job way too seriously.
  • MacGuffin: The all-important "credit codes" that are used to unlock the wealth in the mall.
  • MacGyvering: Blart is surprisingly adept at using his environment to pick off the bad guys, one by one.
  • The Mall
  • The Man Behind the Man: The end of the movie reveals that Veck and his gang were actually working for Commander Kent, leader of the SWAT team.
  • Older Hero vs. Younger Villain: After being caught by the main criminal taking over the mall, Paul admits that the Big Bad is younger, stronger and smarter than he was. And that literally he was the man with the gun.
  • Papa Wolf: Paul ups his game when Vic threatens his daughter.
  • Police Are Useless: They just stand there and wait for Blart to report in, and the SWAT team to arrive.
    • The police were threatened to stay out, or hostages would be harmed.
      • Also, the SWAT team never does anything but stay outside the mall until the end. justified in that their commander is actually the real leader of the thieves.
  • Puppy-Dog Eyes: Amy personifies this trope with her big angelic peepers.
  • Race Against the Clock: As the codes needed to steal the store's credit change on a daily basis, there is a limit to how long the villains have to pull off their robbery.
  • Role Called
  • Running Gag: Paul really doesn't drink
  • "The Reason You Suck" Speech: During his lecture at the end of movie, Veck tries to break Blart's resolve by pointing out his weaknesses, and the fact he isn't even armed.
  • Serious Business: Paul takes his job very seriously, to the point of making up his own oath and putting it on a plaque in his room.
  • Shout-Out: The sequence with Paul droppin' punks in the wildlife exhibit is straight out of Rambo, complete with a shift in focus to reveal Paul Hidden in Plain Sight.
    • A 300-worthy slo-mo shot when Paul gets off two accurate swings before the punk hits the floor.
  • Slapstick: A fair dose of the humour is good 'ol fashioned perils and pratfalls.
  • Shut Up, Hannibal!: This could an interpretation of the true villain getting shot by the head of security.
  • The Stinger: Paul and Amy finally get married. And Vijay's daughter catches the bouquet!
  • Stuff Blowing Up: The flash grenades used to the scare the police off, and later a whole front panel of the mall blowing up just as the SWAT team captain lampshades the fact he thinks Blart could never be a Badass.
  • Took a Level in Badass: About halfway through the movie, Blart suddenly finds strength he didn't know he had.
  • Totally Radical: Veck refering to Paul's rescue attempts as his chance to be the MVP.
  • Torture Always Works: All it takes is Veck shouting for one of the hostages to give up important information. Everyone else just looks at the hostage in disgust to which the hostage replies, "Wow, he's good, he's a pro."
  • Ugly Guy, Hot Wife: Paul and Amy at the end.
  • Voice Of Dramatic: Paul's manner of speaking changes to a lower, more imposing tone as he takes down the bad guys.
  • Weather Dissonance: It's supposed to be Black Friday but underneath all the lights and fake snow the Real Life mall's window displays are for summer. Maybe if they could've borrowed The Terminal's giant food court set...
  • You and What Army?: The head mall security guy asks this of the leader of the New Jersey SWAT Team. Three guesses how it works out...

Alternative Title(s):

Paul Blart Mall Cop